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Desoxyn, Adderrall, ADD/ADHD Theory

Posted by johnWrites on July 23, 2004, at 12:40:18

In reply to Desoxyn (d-desoxyephederine, not anything else), posted by utopizen on June 26, 2004, at 10:50:14

DATE: 2004-07-23

The initial post in this thread (2004-06-22, paulbwell)--which I read yesterday--asked for comparisons between different ADD/ADHD medicines. I respond by focusing on: Adderral (brand, generic) and Desoxyn (two brands, one generic). I will begin with (I) bio-chem-psych profile, (II, III) my own experiences and (IV) some theoretical points. The history is necessary so that you can determine the personal applicability of what follows. The theory is necessary to open up new ways of framing what is labeled "ADD/ADHD." None of the writing, here, is permitted for use without proper citation, and/or, personal use. The "data" can be mined as agreed to in the Dr. Bob Disclaimer.

40 yr. old white male, approx: 180lbs; adopted at birth; when reunited with birth-family, discovered birthmother and younger brother both with severe ADD; brother has severe dyslexia, as well; I suspect that an early childhood trauma--broken left femur--and a very stimulating, safe upbringing--may have ameliorated some of the dyslexic affects in me; I tend more towards dyspraxia; no addictive behaviors; alcohol use: intermittent, light to heavy--though infrequent episodes of heavy alcohol use seem to have a "natural" stopping point (4-6 drinks in an evening); never much of a marijuana smoker, which used to give me "emotional hangovers" (weepy following day); prescribed Ritalin during intervals during childhood, prob. before age 11; noticed affects of Advil cold and sinus, though discontinued use some years ago due to blood sugar crashes; used to drink lots of coffee, though it caused emotional crashes at end of day, so discontinued; prescriptions tried in past (early 30s): Wellbutrin (small dosage, perhaps 20 mg.?); unlike what is written, I felt immediate (i.e., within 3 hrs.) effects; discontinued use after 3 mos., as with Prozac; initial steadying of emotional lability eventually stopped

II. Relevant Experiences--'PARTY' TO PRESCRIPTION
After a recreational encounter with crystal methamphetamine, I was shocked to feel "in my body" in a way I never had; friends were rushing around cleaning: I wanted to sit down and watch a movie, which is always a fifteen minute ordeal (getting settled down); in the past I had often felt like I was about a foot outside my actual body

Disliking the legal ramifications, health problems associated with street meth (distrusting the method of supply (adulterants, no controls on production)), i sought out and researched alternatives; I eventually insisted on Desoxyn because of it's expected similarity to street meth, and my discomfort with trying drugs which do not work; I avoided Ritalin, mostly because of perception of negative research recently

III. Adderral(s) v. Desoxyn(s)--THE CHARLY EXPERIENCE
The difficulty of filling a prescription for Desoxyn in my area (northeast Pennsylvania) was nearly insurmountable--after calls to every pharmacy (in which some pharmacists talked to me as if I was a suspect)--I had to drive to Baltimore to get it filled, and there found a "leftover" store of Abbott Desoxyn; the initial three days felt like my mind was building a tunnel; the recommended dosages, for me, were way off; I experimented with minimums (1-3) and maximums (4-5); the maximum 4-5 @ 5mg/day was what finally worked (20 mg. being way below the neurotoxicity described by CHEMIST in earlier posts); the difficulty in refilling made me decide to try Adderral; there was a similar period of chemical adjustment (2-3 days); Adderral (4-5 @ 10mg/day; no difference between generic and brand) did NOT make me feel as focused, though it did make me feel lighter and happier; I told the psychiatrist with whom I work that it felt like being at a birthday party; it FELT (subjective) to me much more like what crystal meth felt like; not wanting to be tempted into overuse, I switched back to Desoxyn; my next prescription had mostly Abbott; no noticeable differences from first batch; the third prescription (2nd full month) had me receiving a batch of Ovation Desoxyn; the first day felt like I'd just breathed pure oxygen; later days brought me back to the focused affects I had been accustomed to; I've since used Able's generic Desoxyn; it does not feel as potent as the Ovation, but it is difficult to know how much of this is subjective, and or, due to brain acclimation; I did purposefully switch to Adderrall for the second period of 3 mos.; emotional lability returns in weeks 10-12, regardless of using Adderral or Desoxyn; it appears, first unnoticed, because it has been so much part of my daily life...the arc of my "story" regarding all of this seems, to me, very similar to the movie, "Charly" (the 1968 film with Cliff Robertson in an Oscar-winning performance; based on the novel, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes)

IV. Theoretical Points:
My experience and reading suggest a different theory of onset and a different model of understanding ADD/ADHD; it is not a focus problem but an information processing problem, i.e., Information Processing, Non-Standard (I would suggest calling it); "shut down" or emotional frustration occurs when too much information is coming in and there is no place for it to go; Desoxyn and Adderrall seem to make sorting easier; but it does NOT change skipping from thing to thing, which one must expect and learn to work around; my years without any prescription and the discipline required in writing allowed me to develop completion skills; simply put: i know i will return to what i forget until it is done; so i put things in the "return path," i.e., someplace where I will notice it next time around;

I also find that it is not that I don't "perceive" incoming information, but rather, I perceive more than non-ADHDers; yet, my brain cannot, on demand and within a new context, retrieve relevant information--which some take as no perception; I've just usually got the whole loaf and they're asking for a slice; for example: in walking into a room full of people, the whole scene is information from "wide angle", at once, no "filters"; I may not recall something that happened in the room moments later--while still in the room--but I seem to have very good recall of things I wouldn't have expected I noticed days and months (and sometimes years) later;

Onset, I believe, occurs because one never conceptualized a personal self in early childhood; whatever the reason (i.e., birth trauma, problem pregnancy, mother deprivation), one does not seem to ever abstract a notion of salient self; therefore, one never has a "standpoint" from which to sort incoming information; notice that when ADD/ADHD people initiate conversations with questions of their own, they have no problem following the information chain; I think good advice to any student with ADD/ADHD would be: always look for the question you want to ask, whether in reading or listening;

ADD/ADHD people can't sit still because they are always trying to locate their bodies in space; we are often perceived as being "kinesthetic" because of this; the very notion of meaning has deep neurological "roots," so to speak, in one's body-in-motion; "hyperactivity," to my way of thinking, is merely a signal that the meaning-into-action process does not function in a traditional fashion; this does not mean one is limited to imprecise actions or vague thoughts; sophisticated movement and highly abstract thought may develop in "parallel universes," so to speak; here, when faced with a hyperactive person, good advice may be simple physical touch, like grasping a wandering hand; having been benignly restrained by a parent or sibling at times, or "grounded in the chair" as a child, I may have a built in bias against "forced" immobility

e) WHO AM I?
Lack of a "conceptual self," if this proves out in further research, would mean that all psychotherapies aimed at strengthening an (absent) ego, or building self-esteem (there is no foundation), will, of necessity fail; you cannot strengthen what is not there; you cannot anchor self-esteem when there is no "bottom" to the ocean; the notion of the individual comes from politics and is about 300 years old, though it's widespread distribution is less than 100 years old; the notion of a psychological "ego," even less; I'm developing what I believe is a more accurate model of self, one in which the traditional ego becomes iterative patterns of energy and information; this is based on notions first sketched out in my book, The Raft (Firetrap, 2001); and is further developed in a work-in-progress

As for emotional lability: without an anchoring conceptual self, there is nothing for this evolutionary mechanism to regulate; so, of course emotions will be out of least some medicines allow one to follow ideas, and therefore, find purpose--and not get trapped in emotional swells; i find that my ideas and even my purpose have always been curiously removed from any notion of "me"--and yet the most difficult social adjustment, it seems, is this projection by others of a "me" onto my activity; it is almost always selfless (in the ego sense), though not necessarily either altruistic or self-destructive; some psychologies fundamentally err in believing that one must have an ego, or else be mentally diseased; borrowing from the outlook of any social minority: the disease is unease because of a perceived difference between who one is and who others seem to be; also borrowing from minorities (AIDS activism, mostly): I do not assume that a psychiatrist or doctor has an accurate model of how I may work; one must learn to navigate between governing medico-psychological paradigms and one's own insights

Take care,

John Vore

2004 John Michael Vore. May be used for personal use, or professionally with citation to author.




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